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January is a good time for.......

January is a good time for purging, deep cleaning, reorganizing. For me, once the Christmas decorations are put away, it closes the festivities door but opens up time for other possibilities. I'm ready to start new things with a clean slate. And a clean house. I'm not Suzy Homemaker, so my style is to organize my cleaning in spurts of activity. I'll start with just one room or even a portion of a room and concentrate on doing a thorough job of it.

For instance, I might choose my kitchen. Everything comes out of the cupboards. Oh no, not all at once. That's too much to take on. One cupboard at a time gets cleaned, sorted, and put back. Maybe I notice things I never use, like those crystal liqueur glasses that were wedding gifts fifty years ago. Time to find a new home for them. Or the Waterford pitcher which I would like to use for iced tea, so I move it forward so I can reach it more easily.

A pantry will inspire meal planning, if I find staples that have been pushed back and forgotten. I found a variety of dried beans, different kinds and colors that would look great in glass containers on my counter (which are currently holding tea that I no longer use). I can ditch the tea and see how many kinds of bean soup I can make, which are inexpensive and warming during these cold days after Christmas. I also found oatmeal galore so this would be the time to make oatmeal cookies. I may want to have more oatmeal for breakfast, adding maple syrup or frozen strawberries. Cupboards that don't wipe clean will get a touch up with paint I store in my basement for these little jobs.

I want to be thorough, so I'll wait for another day to clean that hard to reach area between my range and refrigerator. I'm going to make a special tool using a washcloth-wrapped broom handle. That may be the day I relegate to floor cleaning or I may start on the refrigerator inside and out. But that's for another day, and I'm feeling pretty good about today's completed task. I'm ready for a reward of a warm cup of Earl Gray tea and a good book in front of the fireplace.

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